Valentine’s Day might be romantic, but making money off it requires data driven decision-making


Valentine’s Day is one of those make-or-break holidays for gift retailers. They are selling "nice to have" items, not necessities. Many use some type of analytics to segment customers for personalized messages. It's not as straightforward as it sounds, especially if the organization hasn't committed to an enterprise-wide approach to using data. If the organization isn't tracking household spend across different buying channels over time (and multiple holidays), it could be wasting money on catalogs or failing to send the right marketing messages to those primed to buy.

One gift retailer has used analytics to figure out that there are some customers that only buy at a certain holiday (like Valentine's Day). Inundating these customer with messages at other holidays is a waste of money, even a turnoff. But sending a reminder message that “Your Aunt June would love some chocolates this Valentine's Day” before the holiday, triggered a purchase. This effort wasn't possible when different parts of the company held close to their own bits of data and ran promotional offers more from gut feeling than analytical thinking. It took an enterprise-wide effort – and a culture shift directed by C-level executives – to empower those targeted "Aunt June" messages.

Getting to that enterprise-wide view isn't easy. One way to approach it is to use the Information Evolution Model, an approach originally put forth by SAS Senior Vice President Jim Davis in the book Information Revolution: Using the Information Evolution Model to Grow Your Business. This is an enterprise and strategic organization-maturity model for identifying, evaluating and improving information use – one worth the time to learn.

 As a global consultant for SAS, Aiman Zeid has spent years working with C-level executives promoting and developing strategies to encourage the use of analytics throughout the enterprise.  His bookBusiness Transformation: A Roadmap for Maximizing Organizational Insights, will be published by the Wiley and SAS Business Series this March.

Photo by Dave Parker // attribution by creative commons




About Author

Aiman Zeid

Head of Organizational Transformation Services, SAS Global Business Consulting

Aiman Zeid has helped numerous organizations on four continents evaluate their organizational maturity and readiness to deploy business analytics. His focus on enterprise-wide approaches has made him a sought after consultant for starting Business Analytics Centers of Excellence. His new book, Business Transformation: A Roadmap for Maximizing Organizational Insights, shares a structured approach for organizations to achieve maximum value from their data. Zeid has 29 years of experience in information management, business consulting and technical implementation of business analytics and performance management solutions. He holds an MBA and a BS in engineering (computer science diploma) from George Washington University. Prior to joining SAS he worked as a consultant for Battelle Institute and the Hay Group.

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